In the Liturgy we is part of our worship. We offer the Lord our lives, our prayers, our gifts of bread and wine, and our financial gifts. Last Sunday, 45 people came to church. Our offering for the Sunday totalled $312 in the collection, $370 for memorials, and $48 for candles.
Fr Dennis Smolarski Will Celebrate Liturgy Next Sunday
Fr Dennis Smolarski, SJ, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday 30 September. Please give Fr Dennis your usual generous welcome.
Fr James Leaves St Elias Church After 17 Years as Pastor
Today Fr James celebrates the Liturgy for the last time in St Elias Church. After nearly 17 years as pastor, he will have a three-month leave of absence from 1 October to 1 January before beginning his new assignment. From 24 Sept. through 28 Sept. he will attend the national Melkite Clergy Conference. Then he will be on vacation for 10 days. He thanks all those who have welcomed him, worked with him, trusted him, and supported him during these sometimes difficult but always blessed years. May God bless you with every good gift and every perfect grace!
New Church Telephone Number: 408-568-1808
The old church office land-line telephone has been replaced with a cellular telephone with a new number. The new number is 408-568-1808. All calls for church business should be made to the new church number—408-568-1808—not to the home telephones of the church Committee members or of Fr George Khoury, who has been appointed priest-in-charge of liturgical and sacramental services for St Elias community.
The Gospel According to Luke: Living in the Presence of God
By Fr Fred Saato, sent to all US Melkite parishes by order of Bishop Samra.
After the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross we begin the reading of St. Luke’s Gospel. Pascha begins the reading of John and with Pentecost we start to read Matthew. At the same time we continue without interruption the cycle of Epistle readings begun at Pentecost.
Luke is thought to have been a Greek-speaking native of Antioch, probably a Gentile, possibly a Jewish proselyte. Luke may have been one of the many who came to Jerusalem that Passover, was attracted by the teaching of Jesus and then encountered the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:12-35).
Luke may have returned to Antioch as one of the first members of that Church; he recalls with pride that “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). He later accompanied St Paul, himself a missionary sent by the Church of Antioch. In Acts, Luke tells how he traveled with St. Paul to Macedonia (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15), returned with him to Syria, and then went to Jerusalem to report to the Eleven.
Luke composed both the Gospel which bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles as a kind of diptych. The Gospel sets forth God’s call to humankind in Christ, and Acts shows the response of the first disciples, both Jews and Gentiles, to the message of salvation.
The Good News on the Move
Luke’s Gospel is based largely on Mark, which commentators think was the first Gospel written in the form we now know. Luke made a significant change, however, to illustrate his theology. He rearranged several passages in Mark to depict Jesus’ ministry as a purposeful journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, to the confrontation with the Jewish leaders, the cross and the tomb. He did this to say that Jesus knowingly and freely embraced the passion—He “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51); that is, to offer Himself for the sake of the human race.
The Gospel ends in Jerusalem and the Acts of the Apostles picks up there with the early activities of the disciples after the Lord’s ascension. But Acts does not remain in Jerusalem—it leads us through Asia Minor to Rome, the capital of the empire, the heart of the Mediterranean world. The Christian community, Luke tells us, was not simply a local Jewish sect—it was the Body of Christ spread throughout the world.
Christ’s Ministry in Luke
On the first Sunday in the cycle of St Luke we read the story of the miraculous catch of fish. Jesus is already known in Capernaum. He taught in the synagogue and healed a man there. He has already attracted the attention of Simon, visiting his house and healing his mother-in-law of a fever. The next day everyone is back to work and Jesus appears at the shore where Simon and others are ending a fruitless night on the water.
“Depart from me, Lord!”
Simon Peter could be described as a faithful observant Jew. He attends the synagogue, hears Jesus teaching there and invites him to his home. Yet, when he witnesses the miraculous catch of fish he says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).
At first, Peter’s protest might sound like that of the Gergasenes who saw their pigs jump into the sea: “Leave us alone—don’t make trouble for us.” In fact, his response puts Peter in a long line of biblical figures overwhelmed by the presence of God. When Isaiah experienced his vision of God in the temple, for example, he cried: “’Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty’” (Isaiah 6:5).
Peter and Isaiah were overcome by what they had seen. Each recognized that somehow he had been touched by the divine. Their response was to see themselves as unclean, as sinful. They may have been conscious of a particular sin from their past, but there is no evidence for that. Rather their reaction mirrored that of many godly people who unexpectedly come upon the presence of God. Even for those who are striving to live righteously, an experience of the power of the Lord entering into our world makes us confront the great gap between us and Him. We see instantaneously how attached we are to the things of the world and, correspondingly, how far we are from the Holy One.
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush He told him, “’Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ . . . And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:4, 6). The only appropriate response of mortals to the holy is the recognition that we have wandered onto Mount Sinai, into a realm beyond our worth.
This reaction became something of a pattern for the ascetic Elders of the Christian East. As St. Clement of Rome counseled, “Even if an angel should indeed appear to you, do not receive him but humiliate yourself, saying, ‘I am not worthy to see an angel, for I am a sinner.’” To look upon the holy without repentance, they felt, was like putting oneself on the same plane as God or His saints.
We Are on Holy Ground
In the Syriac Churches of India it is customary for all the people to remove their shoes before stepping inside the church. Every historic tradition has some act of reverence prescribed for setting foot on consecrated ground. In Byzantine Churches it is prescribed that the worshipper make metanies or prostrations and kiss the icons put forth for veneration. Repeating such actions by force of habit we forget what they represent: that the church, the Eucharist, the cross we approach to kiss—all these are manifestations of God’s holiness and His love reaching out to us. We see, but we do not perceive.
In the same way we do not comprehend that we are always in the presence of God. The people we meet, the grass and trees, the animals and other creatures among whom we live—all these exist as God’s handiwork, as indications of His presence among us. May God grant us to see that every moment of our lives we are standing unworthily on holy ground and that our eyes behold the signs of the presence of the Lord.
Please help in whatever way you can. This is our Church, our Home.
St. Elias The Prophet
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
4411 Hyland Ave., San Jose CA 95127 408-568-1808
You are cordially invited to join us on Sundays.
Orthros Starts at 10:30 and Divine Liturgy starts at 11:00
Bulletin for the week 9/23/12
Troparion of the Conception of John the Baptist (Tone 4)
Joy to you, O barren one unable to give birth! Behold, you conceive today
the one who truly is a Torch of the Sun, who will enlighten the whole world
that suffers from blindness. Rejoice, O Zachary, and cry out in all confidence:
“The one who will be born is a Prophet of the Most High!”
17th Sunday after Pentecost. First Sunday of the Holy Cross. The Conception of the Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John. (Tone 8)
Apostolos: 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom for the parish family; for Christian unity; for peace in the world; for our benefactors; for the priests Kenneth, Frank, Peter, Philaret, Christopher, Basil, George, Damon, Alam, Ron, Conrad, Tony, Dennis, Jim, Justin, Alexei, Shaun, Bernard, Martin, Maximos, Michael, David, Ken, Jerry, & Richard; the deacons Michael, Irenaeus, Kirill, Steve, Tareq; for George E. Massoud (of New Jersey, by his sister Josephine Faris), Margaret Mitchell, Bunnie McBratney, Simone, Joe Faris & Family, Gloria Bullard, John & Therese, Francesca, Fadwa Ajlouny, Sophie Saleh, Nisreen, Bernard & Rozy, Ishak & Julia, Shawn, John & Barbara & Rob, Amal Lahlouh, Brian Swazey, Florence & Steve Balog, John & Ann, Marian, Linda, Dorothy, Chet & Melba; Diane; Nadine, Tim, Daniel & Parker; Sr. Sophia, Sr. Maryann Cantlon, Pastor James, Frederic, Ann Worobey, Fathi & Maro, Ibtissam Kallo, Dan Costello, Bill Kearney, Clayton & Barbara Corrigan, Tom, Dougal, Jeanne White, Sue Lapsys, Dave & Phyllis & Anthony, Houssam & Guitta Nader, Br. David OSJ, Elisa, Enrique, Braulio, Sheilah & Paul Usedom, Kyle, Samira, Souad Zakher; Victoria; Tony, Christina & Richard; Steve Dufoult, Abu Halim, Josephine, Marge, Mildred, Rebecca, Naomi Berning, Maureen & Agripino, Margaret Andrews, Jenny, Laila Zakher, Jerry, Lucy Palmer, Ghassan, Ray & Nadia, Elias Haggar, Nicol, Monique; Mimi, Robert & Peter Chebi; Veronique & Georges Boseret; George & Marlene; Dorothy Rose:; Stephen & Patti Edwards; Ophelia, Laure, David, Deanna, Adel, Antoinette, Maher & Therese, Kamal & Eugenie, Benjamin, Marie, Mounir, Samir, Yolande, Diana, Gino, John & Leah, Mark & Adam, Francis, Gene & Erika, John & Jonell, Elaine, Eva, Jason & Michael, Nora, Wayne, Douglas, Roseanne, Elena Sanchez, Rose & Rosalee, Zaida, Helen, Fred & Carol, Charlotte, Clorice, Deborah; Gerri, Immanuel, Robert, Tomas Orozco; Gabriel, Sami & Fouad Karam & Families; Nadja Haddad & Family; Mario & Mouna & Family; Nabil Damouny & Family; Samir Damouny & Family, Tony Noujaim & Family; in memory of Adam Edwards (5th Anniversary by Fr James) and of Victoria, Nizar & Farid Dimitri and Wadie Kallo (by Nisreen Lahlouh).
Second Sunday of the Holy Cross. Holy Hieromartyr Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia.(Tone1)
Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in memory of Archimandrite Maximos Mardelli (12th anniversary).
Apostolos: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 Gospel: Luke 6:31-36